A Simple Survey:Volume1 File05

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File 05: Watch Out for New Types of Scams[edit]

“Is she moe?”

“No! She is a bitch, not moe!!”

“Uh…A waifu is the same thing as a wife, right?”

“No! No!! Oh my god!! Waifus are not the same as your fucking old wife! They’re basically all virgins and pure ladies!!”

The blond white guy and black guy with an afro at the next table were hotly debating what was likely some kind of global environmental issue, but I had no time to listen to them.

“When you failed to advance two years in a row, I started to think you might be an idiot, but I never expected for an underclassman (ha!) like me to surpass you.”

“Shut up!! So what if I’m an idiot!? Why did I have to choose a major with no set answers like philosophy!?”

I had been stuck in my freshman year for more consecutive years than I cared to count, so a neighborhood little sister-type (even though she was over 20 years old!!) had brought me to a bar in order to console me. …The girl who should have been (but wasn’t) my underclassman was treating me and that just made the whole thing tear at my pride!

“…Heh. Heh heh heh. Even if I’m losing in terms of school year and credits, I am still your senior when it comes to life. I have abundant experiences.”

“True. I don’t think there are many people who have experienced living within an infinite loop. I await your valuable advice.”

“It isn’t infinite!! I’m not caught at the receiving end of some endless midair combo attack!! I will escape this hell. I’ll start by heading to the philosophy professor’s office and bowing down to him!!”

I repeatedly slammed my fist against the table, but quickly softened my blows because the contents of my beer mug were about to spill out.

“By the way, what exactly do you gain from having abundant experiences?”

“You get better at sex.”

She glared at me.

“…You have abundant experience with that?”

“Sorry. I’m really sorry. I don’t have the experience needed to withstand a girl’s scornful look like that. I wouldn’t be able to stand being called disgusting by a schoolgirl.”

I was like a salted slug.

But I couldn’t stand it.

I didn’t want to be looked down on anymore! I wanted to outdo her in at least one thing, whatever it might be!

“I know!! With abundant experiences, you don’t fall for scams! I heard that on TV once!!”

“If that was true, I don’t think the elderly would be the primary victims of phone scams…”

“You just don’t understand, little miss underclassman!!”

“Don’t get full of yourself. I am above you when it comes to school year and grades. I was thinking of helping you with your next report, but now I don’t think so.”

The world’s most ugly expression appeared on my face.

“…Eh…eh heh heh. Do you know about the roadside smoking scam, my wonderful upperclassman?”

“What’s that?”

She was the little sister type (even though she was over…etc.), but she was a college student who had passed the 20 year barrier, so she was trying out drinking and smoking “for now”. After 2 or 3 years, she would likely awaken to being a no-smoking warrior.

“They have enacted rules banning smoking on the streets here and there, right?”

“Yes, I’ve seen the signs. There’s a fine, right?”

“Yes, but who collects the fine? A police officer? Or is it entrusted to a civilian like with illegal parking?”

As usual, she tilted her head in puzzlement at my question.

“Huh? Now that you mention it…”

“That aspect isn’t well known. So you can scam people by approaching someone smoking in one of those roadside no smoking areas and demanding they pay the fine of a few thousand yen. They might realize it was a scam later, but the loss wasn’t that much and they were technically breaking the rule in the first place. For those reasons, the odds are low they will try to find you again.

She threw an edamame into her mouth and sprinkled some salt onto the platter with a sour look.

“It makes sense… But that’s only a few thousand yen.”

“The first time, yes. But if you do it again and again, you can make quite a bit. Assuming you don’t try it on some gangsters or some other kind of landmine, you can make a fair amount of money. Unlike phone scams, you don’t even really need to be a smooth talker. All you have to do is not look particularly suspicious.”

“I’ve never heard of that. Well, I don’t smoke outside anyway, so it has nothing to do with me. I’ll store that away in a corner of my mind, though. Thanks.”

“Fw-fwoooooohhhhh!! That’s the first time someone has thanked me in half a year!!”

“…Surely the clerks at convenience stores at least give a slight bow.”

“The worker at the convenience store I go to always clicks her tongue when I walk in.”

“That’s quite the aura you have!!”

After that, we discussed the problem I had of having to yet again introduce myself and show off a hidden talent at the new student party without letting anyone know how many years I had been a freshman, the more serious problem of what would happen to me in the more specialized third and fourth years when the basic first and second years were causing me so much trouble, and the most serious problem of all of how many times you were allowed to repeat a year. Afterwards, I was feeling quite down, but then the little sister type (even though she…etc.) changed the subject.

“By the way.”

“What is it, little miss underclassman?”

“…”

“…My wonderful upperclassman?”

“Where did you learn about that roadside smoking scam? Did you hear about it online? Don’t tell me you fell for it yourself.”

“An excellent question!!” I sat straight up from the table I had fallen slumped over. “A kind person I met on a message board created an anti-scam manual! It’s the ultimate survival book that collects all the many traps that are running rampant in modern Japan and it only costs 1000 yen. Only 1000 yen!! With just the one book, you can protect yourself from all sorts of crimes. That was one great purchase I made!!”

“…Um. If you recall, I had never heard of this roadside smoking scam.”

“Yes, and?”

“Does that scam even exist? Are you sure that book isn’t a scam filled with completely made up information?”